Both Matthew and Mark begin their record of Jesus’ ministry immediately after his forty day bout with Satan and also after John was put in prison (Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14). Luke, however, records several weeks of Jesus’ ministry before coming to events that occurred after John’s imprisonment (Luke 7:1-10; cf. John 3:22-23; 4:1, 46-53). Several Sabbaths are mentioned between Luke 4:14 (after Jesus’ temptations but before John’s imprisonment) and Luke 7:1 (the beginning of events occurring after John’s imprisonment in Luke’s Gospel). What can be said of these things?
I believe a case can be made that the events covered by Luke before healing the centurion’s servant in Luke 7:1-10 (i.e. Luke 4:14 to Luke 6:49) occur not only before John’s imprisonment, but highlight Jesus 40 day period mentioned in all three Synoptics (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13). In other words Matthew 4:1-11 & Luke 4:1-13 are the skeleton upon which the flesh of Luke 4:14 to 6:49 can be placed! How was Jesus really tempted? Luke tells us immediately following his outline. Where did the temptations take place? The Scriptures tells us in the wilderness, but does this mean the desert regions of Judea? I hardly think so. Notice that the fourth Gospel says John confessed who Jesus was, but he didn’t know him until he was given a sign from heaven (John 1:29-34). On the day following this, John told two of his disciples Jesus was the Messiah, and they left John to follow Jesus (John 1:35-39). Immediately, three others are called to follow Jesus (John 1:40-51). On the next day, the third day after John’s meeting with Jesus (John 2:1), Jesus and his disciples attended a wedding in Galilee. The text doesn’t allow 40 days in the wilderness prior to Jesus coming into Galilee after his baptism.
Consider the fact that people who don’t know God (i.e. people considered to be in spiritual Babylon) are considered a wilderness (Ezekiel 20:34-35), and this is contrasted with the wilderness into which Israel was taken when they left Egypt (Ezekiel 20:36). In this wilderness God intends to plead with his people a second time (Ezekiel 20:36; Micah 6:2; cf. Luke 4:1-13). Thus, the wilderness into which the Lord was led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1) doesn’t indicate a region within Palestine but the spiritual condition of his people—a dry and thirsty people (cf. Ezekiel 19:13; 20:35).
With this wilderness as his court, Jesus would plead with his people (Ezekiel 20:36; Jeremiah 2:8-9) and the sense should be taken in legal terms. Both Matthew and Luke follow the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament) and have Jesus contending with the Devil (slanderer), but Mark has him contending with Satan or adversary (the accuser), following the Hebrew text. Satan or accuser is more fitting for the context of Jesus pleading (legally) over his people’s spiritual condition. Moreover, although Jesus pleads with his people, his people (or at least some of them) accuse or plead against (i.e. playing the part of Satan) him:
“Appoint an evil one over him (over Jesus), an accuser (Satan) to stand at his right hand, That he may be judged and found guilty, that his plea may be in vain.” (Psalm 109:6-7; parenthesis mine)
When Jesus warned that the bread of the Lord would go to the gentiles rather than his people, if the Jews didn’t repent (Luke 4:3-4; 25-27), they tried to destroy him by casting him head first off a cliff (Luke 4:29). When Jesus healed a man who had a withered right hand on the Sabbath day (Luke 6:6-10), the scribes and Pharisees, who had set a trap for him (Luke 6:6), were filled with madness and gathered themselves with the Herodians in an effort to destroy him (Luke 6:11; Mark 3:6; cf. Luke 4:5-8 and Psalm 2:1-2). Again, when Jesus cast out the evil spirits from the people and healed all their diseases (Luke 6:18-19; cf. Matthew 12:22-24; Mark 3:7-11, 20-22; cf. Luke 4:9-12), the scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of using the power of evil to destroy evil, and demanded a sign (Matthew 12:38-39)—which had to be a sign of their own choosing, because Jesus was already showing many signs and wonders, but he was accused of doing it all through the power of the evil one. Therefore, they sought a sign—one of their own choosing (“change these stones into bread” or “cast yourself down from this pinnacle”), tempting him (Luke 4:12).
Thus, it seems clear that not only did Jesus plead with a wilderness of (spiritually thirsty) people (Ezekiel 20:35; Luke 4:1), but the rulers of the people—the hills and mountains of Luke 3:5—also tried Jesus (if you are the Son of God… cf. Psalm 109:6-7; Luke 4:3) and demanded him to do whatever they said—give us bread (whatever we want, and when we want it), worship us (let us command you), cast yourself down…, i.e. force God to do what he promised but according to our will, naming it and claiming it.
 NAB – revised edition